La Roux - Bulletproof - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

La Roux - Bulletproof

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

'Bulletproof' is the stonking 80s synthpop tribute Eleanor Jackson knew she had inside her, and it's so bang on it makes you almost forget the cynical ticking off of reference points happening under the surface. Unlike 'In for the Kill', which was too stilted and hobbled by Jackson's unfortunately shrill vocal, 'Bulletproof' bursts with the confidence of newly claimed pop stardom, of moments seized and poses struck. Off in the margins, Preston and Frankmusic looked on with sickened envy.

Musically, Jackson and collaborator Ben Langmaid take Yazoo's 'Don't Go' and 'Situation' and, well, rip them off, basically. The only change is the swapping of Alison Moyet's unassailable soul rumble with Jackson's pop poppet trill. But the whole is undeniable, its electro strut and the chink-in-the-armour vulnerability of Jackson's 'back off, boy/girl' half-rap syncopated to perfection. Its great pop music, and really, should we ask for more?

Well, sorry to look a pop horse in the mouth, but yes, we should. Because 'Bulletproof' also represents the death throes of this decade's impulse to reach back to the late 70s and early 80s for cues on how music should sound, look, move. This has happened in two ways: there are those, such as The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem and Fischerspooner, who have filtered the sounds of early 80s clubland through contemporary trends, finding out if the concepts of post punk and mutant disco could be made relevant in the modern world. Then there are those, your Scissor Sisters, who are just content to jump on the revivalist bandwagon. Fine, such copyists will always exist. But when someone who wasn't even born when Vince Clarke first mimed his plinky-plonk keyboard parts on Top of the Pops conceives that sound and look as just another part of pop's history to be regurgitated verbatim in the same way Oasis leeched off Lennon's back catalogue… Well, it means we have reached the end of something and we need to move on.

But then, not all beautiful things are good things, and if the history of popular culture tells us one thing it is this: from the Big Mac to the cocaine rush to Nazi architecture, it's human nature to love perfection no matter its providence.

Richard Morris

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet